Stephen McGregor retired as President of Dahl Architects in Dallas in 2000 and moved to the small community of Baird‚ Texas. One of the first things he did after moving was join the Baird Volunteer Fire Department. He considered it one of the finest things he ever did. He loved the fire department – the men‚ the camaraderie‚ the service‚ the challenge. For three years‚ he never failed to answer the call‚ whether to fight a fire‚ repair trucks‚ or perform any of the multiple community services a small-town fire department is called upon to do. He died fighting a fire with his comrades on March 8‚ 2003. On March 11‚ those same comrades carried him to his final rest with full honors in Baird’s 1927 LaFrance fire truck. They are great guys.
For 62 years‚ Steve brought joy to his family‚ friends‚ and colleagues with his easy-going wit‚ gifted hands‚ and giving heart. He could design‚ build‚ or fix just about anything‚ and could always be counted on to help a good cause. Friends and business colleagues alike admired his straightforward‚ honest approach‚ ready grin‚ and willingness to take on difficult projects‚ often those that nobody else wanted.
Steve was always one of the 20% who did 80% of the work. In his Dallas neighborhood‚ he was one of the handful who helped build a playground for the elementary school and put up Christmas lights on the medians each year.
As an architect‚ he was active in the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects‚ serving as treasurer during a major financial reorganization and conversion to computer accounting. For this effort‚ he received the President’s Gold Medal for outstanding service. He later served as treasurer for the national AIA Convention.
Steve was also active in the Oak Cliff Lions Club in Dallas. He served the club in virtually every capacity‚ including President in 1994-95. Among his major accomplishments were rejuvenating the club’s Endowment Fund and volunteering regularly at the children’s free eye clinic. He also participated in the Julian C. Hyer Youth Camp‚ an international Lion’s youth exchange dedicated to promoting world friendship. Steve served as both Hosting Chairman and President‚ as well as hosting students in his own home. He is remembered lovingly by young people around the world as their ‘dad overseas.’
After moving to Baird‚ Steve continued his passion for service by helping to remodel a building for the Community Clothes Closet and Food Pantry and participating in several building projects for the First United Methodist Church‚ as well as serving on the Volunteer Fire Department.
But as much as Steve did for organizations‚ family always came first. He loved doing things with his son Jim–from building a go-kart and participating in Indian Guides when he was small to hunting‚ fishing‚ skiing‚ and undertaking major home improvement projects as he grew up. In recent years‚ he was enjoying similar kinds of hands-on projects with his two young grandsons‚ Stephen and James. They loved spending time with ‘Papa’ in his shop or at the lake. He liked doing anything with his daughter-in-law Suzanne‚ especially cooking and eating ‘goodies.’ As his wife‚ I got even more of his attention than the rest. For forty years‚ he loved me‚ encouraged me‚ supported me during the rough times‚ shared my hopes and dreams‚ and made me laugh. I couldn’t have asked for more.
As his business partner of 28 years put it‚ ‘Steve was the ultimate husband‚ father‚ and rock upon whom all could depend.’ We all miss him.
Roy was the Fire Chief of Country Lakes Volunteer Fire Co & EMS. Roy passed away at the age of 39 after suffering a heart attack while in command of a helicopter landing zone assignment at his station. His wife and 3 children‚ his family and friends sadly miss him. His fraternal sisters and brothers (his extended family) will always remember him.
Roy joined the company in 1995 and loved everything about the fire company. He was the backbone of the company‚ putting the needs of his family first and leading by example. He became chief in 1998 when the ranks were down to 5 firefighters and swelled the membership to over 50. He served as Company President simultaneously and was loved‚ and admired by those of his company‚ the community‚ his family and friends. Roy single-handedly organized and gave birth to so many projects and events that will long continue. He gave it his all and more. When the community was having trouble with Emergency Medical Service response‚ Roy organized his members and began EMS183‚ a subunit of the Fire Company to help augment the existing emergency medical service squads from the township. He was also an EMT since 1999. EMS183 responded to 95% of over 1000 dispatches the first year. Roy signed on for over 500 of them. Soon after‚ he organized the ‘Rescue Rangers’ the company softball team‚ who had an undefeated season. These were ‘Roy’s Rescue Rangers’‚ the TEAM. The Company has a Fire Support Vehicle dedicated to him by the TEAM.
To Roy‚ family came first. He was a loving‚ dedicated and devoted husband and father. Roy and I were married for 12 days short of 14 years. We had gone to kindergarten together and were best friends first. We have 3 children: Roy Jr.‚ age 13‚ Rachel‚ age 8 and Renee‚ age 5. All Company functions centered around and included family always. ‘If your family didn’t support your service to the Fire Company how could you expect to dedicate so much time to it?’
Roy served in the US Navy for 12 years and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal while enlisted. He later was employed by the Department of Defense as a Logistics Team Leader at NAVAIR Lakehurst at the time of his passing. He was recognized for several of his contributions over the years always being a go-getter.
In addition to serving his community Roy enjoyed golf‚ camping‚ tinkering on cars and home improvement projects; he was a movie and music trivia buff; he spent many hours on the computer and designed the Company website; he enjoyed hanging out with his friends and family and was always the center of attention.
Roy was the Chairman of the Pemberton Fire Chiefs Association‚ served as Vice President of the Pemberton Firefighters Relief Association; he was an exempt member of the New Jersey State Fireman’s Relief Association‚ a member of the Burlington County Fire Chief’s Association‚ the Executive Officer of Boy Scout Troop #145 and was very active in Girl Scouts‚ having served as Cookie Dad in January 2003 for our Brownie Troop. Roy was also the DJ at the community Girl Scout Witches Ball just the Friday night before.
Roy was always there for everyone. He would tell his friends with elderly or sick family to call his home phone number before calling 911‚ whatever time of day‚ when ever they needed an ambulance‚ he would make sure they were taken care of. He was the first to give out stickers or fire helmets to children at community events and fire prevention outings. He gave rides on the fire trucks to whatever kids asked. He was so happy doing what he was doing‚ and only wanted everyone to share in his enthusiasm.
We since have established the Chief Roy E. Prouty Memorial Scholarship to recognize graduating seniors from Pemberton Township High School who are dependents of our fraternal brothers and sister or members of our charted Boy Scout Troop #145. His spirit and memory will continue at all company functions and gatherings as the gang will definitely gather at least once and say ‘Chief … here’s a quarter for you!’ Roy’s memory will live on through his children with their spirit of service and by those who served beside him as they continue to sometimes reflect and wonder WWRD. (What Would Roy Do)
Richard was born and raised in Elgin‚ IL. He moved to Washington in 1985 at the age of 17. He served with Clark County Fire Districts 3‚ 11 and 12 respectively over a period of approximately 17 years. He finished his emergency services career at the age of 35 on November 17‚ 2003‚ as a full-time firefighter/paramedic for Clark County Fire District 12. He had also worked as a paramedic for American Medical Response‚ North Country Emergency Medical Services‚ Buck Medical Services‚ and American Ambulance. He served his country in the Navy from 1987 – 1991 as an award winning Aviation Electronics Technician and received an honorable discharge.
Richard had a real zest for life. He enjoyed camping‚ hiking‚ rafting and game playing with his wife Lea Ann‚ two sons and numerous extended family members. He had a passion for reading spiritually uplifting and motivational books of all kinds. If you were to ask him who he was‚ he would respond with an exuberant smile‚ ‘I am a son of God!’ His positive attitude was felt by all. He had a distinctive‚ infectious laugh that he freely shared with the world.
Richard loved serving his fellow man in all aspects of his life. He was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints‚ where he participated in the scouting program and young men’s leadership organizations.
Richard was preceded in death by his father‚ Richard George Tiffany‚ in 1973. Survivors include his wife Lea Ann (Francis) Tiffany‚ and sons Richard and Jonathan Tiffany of Battle Ground‚ mother Peggy Stark of Elgin‚ IL‚ brother Paul Tiffany‚ sisters Anne Tiffany‚ Carol Hall‚ and Julie Kelly and many nieces‚ nephew and cousins by the dozens.
Richard was laid to rest with full Fire Fighter Honors on November 22‚ 2003.
John Garman was born January 6‚ 1961. He died in a silo explosion on October 1‚ 2003‚ while on duty with the fire department.
John was a great guy. A friend to all he met; loved greatly by all his family‚ nieces and nephews‚ and is greatly missed.
He served 10 _ years on the New Bremen Fire Department following in the footsteps of a brother still on the department and a father who served 25 years. He was a dedicated member of the department‚ giving many hours of his personal time to cleaning‚ doing odd jobs at the station or whatever was asked. John loved the comradery with his fellow firefighters. He was the coordinator for the fire prevention programs and spent many hours organizing the fire safety programs for the elementary students along with poster contests‚ coloring books‚ etc. He felt one of the most important things was good fire safety for the kids because as he often said‚ ‘They are our future.’
John was employed at Crown Equipment in New Bremen where he worked second shift and was liked by all who worked with him. He has been greatly missed and we are often told of the void that was left when John passed away. He always gave his best because he felt that was expected and deserved by his fellow employees and employer.
John was devoted to his family. He never had a wife or children of his own but his 16 nieces and nephews were his greatest pride‚ joy‚ and love. He was a loving son and brother and never felt he could do enough for them. The great times we had with John will be cherished forever. His laughter at family gatherings cannot be replaced but will not be forgotten. His shining eyes and bright smile will stand out in my mind forever. As his siblings we will greatly miss goofing around with John as we so often did. John was not only my brother‚ but one of my truest and best friends. He was right there beside me when I got into trouble as a kid and he was there for me when I grew up and needed a hand. I love him and he’ll be in my heart forever.
As his mother I often said John had three great loves in his life: his family‚ his dog Pooka‚ and the fire department. At times we couldn’t be sure which came first.
John was a man of great faith whose love and belief showed in his daily life. He always carried a small wooden cross in his pocket. In fact‚ the cross was the only personal belonging that was found on John the day he died. His home was filled with many notes of quotes and bible verses as reminders to him each day of God and his blessings to him.
John will be missed but never forgotten. We are hoping to establish a scholarship fund in his name using funds sent in to the department in his honor and trust that this will help others to continue to learn because of John’s great love.
Shane at the age of 10 would tag along with other volunteer firemen including his dad. He became a junior firefighter at the age of 16. He was so proud. After graduating from high school in 1997‚ he decided to attend Shreveport Fire Academy in Shreveport‚ LA to become an EMT. While attending EMT school‚ he passed his civil service test and was hired to become a full-time paid employee for Fire District 8 on December 19‚ 1997. His rank was firefighter/operator. He became an EMT Basic in February 1998. He decided he wanted to be better qualified to do more. Working around his shifts at the fire department he went back to school in 2000 to be trained as a paramedic through Acadian Ambulance Service in Alexandria‚ LA. This was about a 200-mile round trip for him. He made many trips‚ but he wanted to take the course through this highly rated Ambulance Service. He successfully passed all his testing and became a paramedic in September 2002. We were so proud of him‚ as he worked so hard. Needless to say‚ he was proud of what he had accomplished‚ too. Shane was the only paramedic on the fire department. On his days off he would work for the ambulance service. He worked part time at the local hospital for awhile and filled in some at 911.
An unsigned letter (Everyday Heroes) was found in the fireman’s boot that was placed by casket. This is an excerpt from the letter:
Shane had a true quality and good character‚ he treated me as an equal. He wanted to make a difference‚ his heart went out to those who were hurting. Just to watch him work was to watch an artist who loved what he did. He was one of the best teachers I ever had. If you didn’t know something‚ he did not belittle you for it. When I would speak to him it was like speaking to a king that lived as a peasant to better serve his people. His name is Shane Brown. This name will always be synonymous with pure heart. He left a memory in the heart of DeSoto Parish.
Excerpts from other letters:
Professional at all times in his work and the work ethic I saw in him from wildfires to ambulance service wa san example for all around him to follow. They looked to him in leadership. Shane was completely oblivious to the impact he was having on people‚ but this is typical for a person who has a servant’s heart. His legacy will continue. He will never be forgotten.
We are so proud of our son‚ our only child. He has seen more in his short life than most people will see in a lifetime. He has helped so many. To know him was to love him.
Shane ran over 1800 calls in his six years as a paid fireman. He answered his last alarm on December 24‚ 2003. He was only 25 years old.
Shane never called us Mom or Dad. He called me Hon and his dad Sam. So I will sign this letter‚
All across America in towns and cities large and small‚ children turn a watchful eye to catch a glimpse of a fire truck racing to the scene of a structure fire or motor vehicle accident. Often they point and wave to the firefighters in those trucks and dream of one day joining their ranks. Stephen G. Gavin was one of those children who followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Owego Fire Department shortly after his eighteenth birthday in 1969. Making the ‘ultimate sacrifice’‚ Stephen died in the line of duty September 2‚ 2003 as a result of a massive heart attack he suffered while fighting a lumber mill fire. He was fifty-two. Stephen was a lieutenant of Susquehanna Hose Company #1 at the time of his death and had held various offices in the department during his thirty-four years of active service including past captain of Susquehanna Hose Company #1 and past co-captain of the Owego Emergency Squad. Over the years Stephen was also an active member of several Owego Firematic Hose Teams that competed in the Central New York Firemen’s Association Firematic Tournaments. At their annual banquet in 2002‚ The Owego Fire Department presented to Stephen and his three sons‚ Patrick‚ Timothy‚ and Daniel‚ ‘The Firefighter of the Year’ award for their dedication to the department. In addition to his service with the fire department‚ Stephen also coached little league‚ football‚ basketball‚ and was involved in local village politics.
‘A legend in the Owego Fire Department‚’ ‘an example for all to follow‚’ ‘a yardstick – the firefighter you measured all others against‚’ a faithful friend‚ devoted husband and father‚ and community servant were all ways describing Stephen. As his wife of twenty- eight years‚ he is irreplaceable. Stephen was a humble man who wanted no recognition or thanks for his efforts. He loved life and gave unconditional love to his family. Stephen’s devotion and love for us was immeasurable. Stephen was extremely proud of his boys and never missed any activity or event that involved them. Stephen cared deeply about others and did not hesitate to lend a helping hand. He became a teacher and mentor not only for his boys‚ but for the young men and women entering the fire service. Stephen’s commitment to the fire service and the community is being carried on through his three sons. Patrick‚ Timothy‚ and Daniel are all active members in the Owego Fire Department and belong to the Owego Firematic Hose Team. A longtime family friend said‚ ‘He epitomized the height of the volunteer fire service. He died doing what he loved to do‚ serving the community.’ Stephen did not hesitate to put the life of his fellow man before his own.
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